Even if you're an avid viewer of the Netflix series, you may still have a lot of unanswered questions from Black Mirror swirling in your head. To be fair, that's basically the whole point of the show: it's a science fiction trip into a speculative future. As is inevitable these days, there are myriad fan theories about Black Mirror mysteries thanks to just how bizarre and mind-blowing the series is. It's so trippy, in fact, that it's leaking into other shows, sparking a theory that Black Mirror and Riverdale exist in the same universe, thanks to an Easter egg from one of Black Mirror's best episodes popping up in an episode of CW's Riverdale.
In short, Black Mirror is enigmatic, but after its fourth season, a broader narrative is starting to coalesce; with that comes some clarity and so many theories. While many of those place the show in the universe of other movies/shows (or vice versa), many are self-contained, as well, and a lot are brilliant.
These are some of the best Black Mirror fan theories that are sure to break your brain, or maybe repair the damage that the show has caused. Vote up the ones that are the most convincing, no matter how much of a trip they might be.
Redditor nathanlunn68's theory is actually quite simple; as his TL;DR says, "Rolo Haynes (the Black Museum’s owner) is the metaphorical narrator of the Black Mirror series. Each episode is his explanation of an artifact in his Museum." So each artifact in the "Black Museum" is associated with an episode in the series, and represents the narrative of that episode.
"15 Million Merits" is the source of much debate within the Black Mirror universe, one that many are coming to see as a shared universe with a specific timeline (just not in the order the episodes are presented). Kally-0 believes "15 MM" is a reality within the universe (not a show or work of fiction within the universe as some believe). Here's the Redditor's breakdown:
"All episodes seem to fit into three general eras:
- Current day with 'experimental tech' (e.g. 'National Anthem,' 'Shut up and Dance,' 'Waldo Moment').
- Near future episodes with advanced technology within cultures that take these technologies as the norm (e.g. 'Nosedive,' 'Entire History of You,' 'White Christmas').
- Apocalyptic episodes (e.g. 'Men Under Fire,' 'Metalhead').
My theory is that 15 MM is contemporary with the 'Nosedive' era, but the people in it are the British working classes and/or underclasses. I propose that 15 MM actually takes place in a futuristic form of a Victorian workhouse, where the unemployed are used as a cheap, renewable power source in exchange for shelter and food. Of course this is a depressing system, so the use of 'merits' and reality TV shows like 'Hot Shots' are used as a way to give these working classes false hope of escaping to a better life."
Redditor thisisforscienceonly is not alone in believing Dr. Dawson to be the real murderer of the weather girl (as the comments make clear), but the user's theory on what is going on withing Season 4's "Black Museum" episode is presented well:
"I think that Dr. Dawson is the one who murdered the weather girl.
We first hear about the weather girl's disappearance when Dawson is watching TV, contemplating hurting himself.
For the theory to work it means either A) he starts hurting himself after he killed her,
or B) it's from Douglas Hodge, the museum director's perspective, so the whole timeline could be a bit faulty on his part. Maybe the self mutilation, then kidnapping of weather girl happened, and finally murder of the homeless man, but of course Hodge wouldn't have known all of this, so that's why the story is portrayed differently.
In the monkey story the news report discusses that the weather girl had been mutilated, which ties in with Dawson's whole 'pain = pleasure' thing.
It's strongly alluded that Clayton was innocent, as there had been DNA tampering, and he just didn't seem to have a motive of any kind."
Redditor BlackHolePizza, like many others, believes Black Mirror takes place in a single universe, but notes a couple exceptions, namely, that the episodes "15 Million Merits" and "Men Against Fire" are actually shows within said universe:
"In 'Arkangel,' we see an example of violent imagery on TV, and it's literally just a scene from 'Men Against Fire' (rather than some sort of news coverage of the 'war').
And in 'Black Museum,' we see someone reading '15 Million Merits' as a graphic novel. We know 'Hot Shots' and 'Wraith Babes' exist in the Black Mirror universe (given the references to them in 'Crocodile' and other episodes), and '15 Million Merits' is probably some writer's 'Black Mirror' take on it."